Republic update

St. Leibowitz

Aug 19, 2002
The following was posted in the Chautauqua area of the Teamsters Local 747 website:
March 4, 2003
Republic Airlines and Contract Negotiations
As you are well aware, the Union is engaged in a concentrated effort to stop the formation of the alter-ego Republic Airlines. We have filed a group grievance against Chautauqua and the parent company, Republic Airways Holdings, Inc., for their start-up operations of Republic. It is the Union’s contention that the formation of Republic Airlines violates the scope provision transfer of aircraft prohibition. We strongly contest the formation of Republic which we feel will endanger the job security of every Chautauqua pilot. The short and long term damage of Republic would not only be the loss of current code share business with US Airways but all future growth at Chautauqua will be severely restricted.
It is for this reason that the Executive Council tendered a proposal to Chautauqua late last week to stop the formation of Republic Airlines. We have indicated to the Company that, if the twenty-three (23) aircraft slotted to go to Republic were kept at Chautauqua and Republic Airlines dismantled, we would once again put out a Jet for Jobs Agreement to the pilots for ratification. The price, as the Company has stated for stopping Republic Airlines, is reduced labor wages for the additional twenty-three (23) aircraft. The IBT neither participated in the discussions nor were informed of the Republic Airlines’ formation until after the deal was struck. The labor scales that Republic Airways Holdings, Inc., US Airways and ALPA agreed to are current PSA rates. PSA rates are anywhere from $2.00 to $5.00 less than current Chautauqua rates. In order to meet the Company’s concern, the Union has proposed, subject to ratification, that the aircraft be flown at Chautauqua by the US Airways furloughees, in conformity with the Jet for Jobs Agreement, and kept at PSA rates as agreed to between ALPA, US Airways, and Republic Airways Holdings, Inc. The Jet for Jobs breakdown would be as follows:
1) 16 additional aircraft staffed entirely with Chautauqua pilots with Chautauqua pay rates.
2) 16 additional aircraft staffed entirely by US Airways furloughed pilots at PSA rates under the Chautauqua work rules.
Additionally, our Jet for Jobs proposal would not effect or have any impact on the current Chautauqua collective bargaining process.
The Company rejected our proposal, even though it addressed their purported cost concerns. Instead, the Company tendered a counter-proposal on the Jet for Jobs and the Chautauqua Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Company is now attempting to tie a new Chautauqua Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Jet for Jobs Agreement as a precondition for stopping Republic, albeit at current work rules and reduced wage expectations.
Negotiations commenced in Dallas, Texas on March 3rd and 4th. Unfortunately, the Company failed to entertain any serious negotiations. The Company’s global proposal was for the pilots to accept the wage rates contained in the failed TA with no retroactive pay. In other words, the Company was agreeing to pay you wages on what ninety-five percent (95%) of the pilots turned down in July 2001. Additionally, and most importantly, the Company wanted to impose every other provision of the failed TA that the Union and Company had not reached agreement on to date. This includes most of the work rule provisions, including scheduling, hours of service, benefits, PDOs, training, etc., all provisions of any economic impact.
Chautauqua’s Negotiating Committee spent two days in pointless negotiations and the Company would not move from its position. It is quite clear that the Company is not interested in a fair and equitable Collective Bargaining Agreement or keeping jobs for Chautauqua pilots. The Company would not disclose their financial data to the Union, however, the Company continues to turn an increasing profit. Additionally, the Company has gained approximately four million dollars ($4,000,000.00) during the last year and one-half by not increasing the pilots’ wage rates since November 2000. We are guardedly optimistic that we will prevail in the arbitration proceeding scheduled for March 17 and 18, 2003, however, the pilot group must prepare for any and all eventualities.
Within the next several days, you will receive a ratification ballot on the latest Jet for Jobs Agreement. The Agreement has changed since last July, however, it still contains the furlough protection for US Airways furloughees. We would ask all pilots to vote their conscience on this agreement and weigh the countervailing issues of the creation of an alter ego and the enhanced furlough protection. The Executive Council supports ratification of this ballot given the undesirable alternatives. This Agreement has not been approved by the Company, however, if ratified, we will demand its enforcement from Chautauqua Airlines and the parent company as well as ALPA.
In furtherance of our objective to get the very best contract that we can achieve and to keep all flying at Chautauqua, it is time for this pilot group to be heard. We will shortly be issuing “Stop Republic Airlines†stickers and we will move from DEFCON green to DEFCON yellow. We would instruct everyone at this time to replace your green bag tag with the yellow bag tag. We are also formulating plans for informational picketing at Louisville, KY (new Republic Airlines site headquarters) and at Indianapolis, IN (Chautauqua Headquarters). The focus of this picketing will be to stop Republic Airlines and to inform the public of our job security concerns.
We would encourage all pilots to not only show your support by attaching the yellow tags to your bags and displaying the “Stop Republic†stickers, but to participate in informational picketing and to contact your elected and appointed officials with the IBT to voice your support. We will provide updates as the situation dictates.